Big 12: Garrett Hartley

Which Big 12 alumni will have a Super impact?

February, 5, 2010
2/05/10
4:34
PM ET
Forget the quarter squares or the halftime propositions.

I've got a game we can play as we get ready for Saturday and I'm curious about readers' thoughts.

Here is a list of the former Big 12 players on Super Bowl rosters. Their playing status is based on the most recent team depth chart released by NFL.com.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

SS Melvin Bullitt (Texas A&M), starter.

G Ryan Lilja (Kansas State), starter.

T Charlie Johnson (Oklahoma State), starter.

CB Jacob Lacey (Oklahoma State), backup.

DE Keyunta Dawson (Texas Tech), backup.

LS Justin Snow (Baylor), starter.

LB Cody Glenn (Nebraska), backup.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

G Carl Nicks (Nebraska), starter.

OLB Scott Shanle (Nebraska), starter.

TE David Thomas (Texas), backup.

K Garrett Hartley (Oklahoma), starter.

DT Remi Ayodele (Oklahoma), starter.

C Nick Leckey (Kansas State), backup.

QB Chase Daniel (Missouri), backup.

T Jammal Brown (Oklahoma), injured reserve.

TE Dan Campbell (Texas A&M), injured reserve.

MLB Mark Simoneau (Kansas State), injured reserve.

WR D'Juan Woods (Oklahoma State), injured reserve.

From one through five, I'm curious which Big 12 alumnus will have the biggest impact in the Super Bowl.

Here are my choices:

1. Indianapois SS Melvin Bullitt: He'll have to bring a physical, punishing presence to the Colts' secondary to keep the New Orleans receivers and Reggie Bush from running wild.

2. New Orleans G Carl Nicks: New Orleans needs to run the ball effectively to have a chance in springing the upset. Nicks is the Saints' best run-blocker and will be important in moving the pile for them.

3. Indianapolis CB Jacob Lacey: For some strange reason, I have the feeling that Lacey will be a big part of this game. I think Drew Brees will test him early and often and he'll have a chance to make some plays -- or be burned.

4. New Orleans K Garrett Hartley: He won the NFC Championship Game with a clutch kick in overtime. Who's to say he won't have another chance for another big kick or two in Sunday's game?

5. New Orleans TE David Thomas: Brees' second tight end has been a consistent and clutch third-down receiver all season. If this game is a shootout, he'll likely get a lot of playing time.

Those are my picks. How about yours?

Chase Daniel only 102nd in value among Super Bowl teams?

February, 1, 2010
2/01/10
11:08
AM ET
There was an interesting story over the weekend on ESPN.com, where the Scouts Inc. talent evaluators looked at both Super Bowl teams and ranked them from 1 through 106 in terms of talent.

It's no surprise that Peyton Manning checked in at No. 1. But some of the other players might have been surprising.

Most notable was former Missouri and current New Orleans quarterback Chase Daniel, who was one of the most storied players in Big 12 history as he twice led Missouri to the Big 12 championship game.

Even with that pedigree, Daniel's value diminished greatly once he hit the NFL. In fact, at No. 102, he's the Big 12 alumni who has the lowest value among Super Bowl participants, according to the survey.

There's no surprise that Peyton Manning is No. 1 or that Drew Brees is second. Carl Nicks, the starting guard for New Orleans from Nebraska is ranked 13th, the highest-ranked Big 12 product in the game. And Melvin Bullitt, Indianapolis' starting strong safety, is the highest-ranked Big 12 alumni on the Colts at No. 18.

Here's a list of the former Big 12 players who are on the rosters of the Super Bowl teams. Their playing status is based on the most recent team depth chart released by NFL.com.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
  • G Carl Nicks (Nebraska), starter, No. 13.
  • OLB Scott Shanle (Nebraska), starter, No. 38.
  • TE David Thomas (Texas), backup, No. 52.
  • K Garrett Hartley (Oklahoma), starter, No. 58.
  • DT Remi Ayodele (Oklahoma), starter, No. 80.
  • C Nick Leckley (Kansas State), backup, No. 86.
  • QB Chase Daniel (Missouri), backup, No. 102.
  • T Jammal Brown (Oklahoma), injured reserve, no ranking.
  • TE Dan Campbell (Texas A&M), injured reserve, no ranking.
  • MLB Mark Simoneau (Kansas State), injured reserve, no ranking.
  • WR D'Juan Woods (Oklahoma State), injured reserve, no ranking.

The listing of players was pretty interesting. I'm guilty of not following the players quite as closely once they got to the NFL.

But I'm still stunned about Daniel's lack of value, even if he is a third-string quarterback for the Saints.

Oklahoma's all-decade team

January, 20, 2010
1/20/10
6:12
PM ET
Oklahoma was the dominant program of the last decade in the Big 12, leading the conference with six titles, seven conference title-game appearances and four BCS title-game appearances.

All of those accomplishments are a testament to Bob Stoops, one of two conference coaches to direct his team throughout the decade.

Setting the Sooners’ all-decade team was difficult. The choice at wide receiver next to Mark Clayton was extremely difficult. Malcolm Kelly, Juaquin Iglesias or Ryan Broyles all would have been good choices. I went with Broyles because of his proficiency despite constant double-team defenses this season when he produced 89 receptions.

And at quarterback, I went with Sam Bradford over Jason White in a tough positional choice between two Heisman Trophy winners.

Here’s my choice for Oklahoma’s all-decade team.

OFFENSE

QB: Sam Bradford

RB: Adrian Peterson

RB: Quentin Griffin

WR: Mark Clayton

WR: Ryan Broyles

TE: Jermaine Gresham

OL: Jammal Brown

OL: Trent Williams

OL: Davin Joseph

OL: Phil Loadholt

C: Vince Carter

DEFENSE

DL: Dan Cody

DL: Tommie Harris

DL: Gerald McCoy

DL: Jeremy Beal

LB: Teddy Lehman

LB: Rocky Calmus

LB: Curtis Lofton

DB: Derrick Strait

DB: Roy Williams

DB: Andre Woolfolk

DB: Brandon Everage

K: Garrett Hartley

P: Jeff Ferguson

Ret: Ryan Broyles

Offensive player of the decade: QB Sam Bradford. He became the first quarterback in Big 12 history to lead his team to back-to-back titles, capping his sophomore season by throwing for 50 touchdowns and earning the Heisman Trophy. His final season in college didn’t go as expected, but he still leaves school as a player who will be immortalized with a statue at Owen Field in the not-too-distant future.

Defensive player of the decade: S Roy Williams. He was such a natural that Bob Stoops created a position “the Roy” especially for his talents. He set the standard as a physical run-stuffing safety and sealed his legacy with the hit on Chris Simms that sealed the 2001 victory over Texas.

Coach of the decade: Bob Stoops. The only coach of the decade for the Sooners had more unprecedented early success than any coach in Big 12 history, winning the national championship in his second season and claiming a record six conference championships. They aren’t calling him “Big Game Bob” as much as before, but Stoops still ranks among the most pivotal figures in Big 12 history.

Most memorable moment of the decade: On a misty night at Pro Player Stadium, the Sooners’ defense turned in a masterful performance to claim the 2001 Orange Bowl and bring home the 2000 national championship. Josh Heupel managed to direct the offense despite a sore elbow and the Oklahoma defense would have pitched a shutout in a 13-2 triumph over Florida State except for a special-teams safety in the final minute of play.

Five pressing questions for the Sooners

August, 29, 2008
8/29/08
4:06
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Oklahoma enters the season intent on redeeming itself for some recent bowl-game embarrassments that have stripped some of the national prestige from Bob Stoops' program.

After a 48-28 loss to West Virginia last season in the Fiesta Bowl, the Sooners have lost their last four BCS bowl games. Those struggles have left this team hungry to make amends.

The Sooners have developed into a Big 12 dynasty under Stoops with unprecedented back-to-back championships. But to make history again with a three-peat, here are some questions that the Sooners must answer heading into Saturday's game against Chattanooga.


1. Are their enough linebackers to play defense like Stoops expects? MLB Ryan Reynolds has never played a full season without getting hurt. WLB Austin Box will miss the start of the season with a knee injury. Replacement Mike Balogun was a construction worker in high school while most top athletes were getting scholarship offers. And Keenan Clayton, a converted safety, will be starting on the other side. No wonder that defensive coordinator Brent Venables said the position made have to be played by rotation.

2. Where will the defensive playmakers emerge from? Curtis Lofton and Reggie Smith were consistent multi-year starters who dominated offenses better than almost any player in recent Stoops defenses. While the Sooners have plenty of defensive talent, somebody else needs to step up

3. How will the Sooners operate in the "no-huddle" offense? While Chattanooga should barely provide competition for the Sooners Saturday night, one thing to watch will be how the Sooners and QB Sam Bradford have grasped the nuances of the philosophy after preseason practice. Questions remained after the Sooners struggled through a turnover-marred outing in the spring game. And they only intensified because of the lack of public scrutiny of the Sooners' recent scrimmages.

4. How does K Jimmy Stevens fit in? Garrett Hartley was an underrated part of the Sooners' recent success, converting 32 of his last 35 attempts and becoming a Groza Award finalist. Stevens struggled in the spring but has been kicking solidly in camp, Stoops said.

5. Will Sam Bradford struggle through a sophomore slump? On first glance, the Sooners should have all the elements of one of the nation's most productive offenses. But what would happen if Bradford stumbled after tossing an NCAA-freshman record 36 touchdown passes? Defenses sometimes pick up tendencies and play quarterbacks with more success the second time around. Just ask Texas QB Colt McCoy.

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